Following Jesus 46

As we examine the Twelve Disciples of Jesus, we now examine the third group of four. We begin with the disciple known as James the Son of Alpheus or James the Less. 
While there is little information about James, we can make some important observations about him that may also be make about today’s followers of Jesus. 
James, as a follower of Jesus, was chosen by God. He was a follower of Jesus because Jesus chose him to be a follower. The same may be said of you. As we have previously seen, two passages in John’s gospel bears this out: John 6:66-70 and John 15:12-17. 
Secondly, as a follower of Jesus James could serve Jesus and remain unknown and obscure. So too can you and I. 
Thirdly, a follower of Jesus is His instrument. God uses His followers for His purpose and glory. The human instrument is never the focus because the focus is always to be on Jesus Christ. One the great tragedies of modern Christianity is that we tend to focus on the instruments of ministry and not on the Christ for which ministry is be conducted. An instrumental follower is one who contributes, who is active, involved, helpful and influential as used by Christ. 
Here is what the New Testament has to say about serving the Lord. 
  • Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” (Mark 10:28-31 ESV)
  • Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. (2 Timothy 2:20-21 ESV)
  • And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life.   Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. (Hebrews 11:32-38 ESV)
Talking Points
  • As a follower of Jesus, are you an obscure, little, unknown, unsung person? Maybe you can claim to be someone’s relative or such in order to have some degree of notoriety. However, Jesus can use you even if nobody knows your name or what you do. He chose you to be His disciple. 
  • Serving the Lord with quietness and being unnoticed does not mean you are insignificant. You are an instrument of God for noble purposes. 

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